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PG&E to Cut Power in Sierra Foothills to Prevent Fires

  • California cleared PG&E to take out power during fire season
  • Utility seeks to avoid repeat of catastrophic blazes last year
A hydroelectric turbine at the Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E) Wise Powerhouse hydroelectric power plant in California.

A hydroelectric turbine at the Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E) Wise Powerhouse hydroelectric power plant in California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris
Updated on

PG&E Corp. will plunge thousands into darkness in Northern California after blacking out hundreds in wine country as high winds threatened to knock down its power lines and spark wildfires.

PG&E will turn off power to approximately 26,900 customers in the Sierra Foothills, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement on Saturday. It has also started safety inspections for 1,600 customers in the North Bay whose power was cut off early Saturday morning. The utility warned thousands of residents and businesses on Friday that they might be blacked out over the weekend as the National Weather Service warned of a heightened fire risk.